Getting Back The John Chow Twitter Account

Anyone following me on Twitter will know that I’ve got back the JohnChow user name. Before, the name was held by a squatter and I was forced to use JohnChowDotCom. Getting back that name really wasn’t that hard. You don’t need to be a super powerful user or know anyone at Twitter. If your name has been taken by a squatter, here’s how to go about getting it back. Shout out to Martin Reed of Community Spark for supplying me with the correct Twitter email address.

Twitter Accounts Are Not For Life

If you do not post an update to your Twitter account for six months, it’s considered inactive and up for grabs to anyone who wants it. As it turns out, the squatter who registered JohnChow made one update on it and nothing else. To request an inactive name, send an email to with the following information:

  • Your existing Twitter user name
  • The inactive user name you’d like to acquire
  • If you’d like to change the user name on your existing account , or if you’d like to add the user name to a new account

It can take 5 to 7 days for Twitter to process your request. I asked Twitter to change my user name from JohnChowDotCom to JohnChow. This way none of my followers, existing direct messages or replies are affected. However, all replies and direct messages going forward must be addressed to the new user name.

Re-register The Old User Name

The first thing I did after Twitter changed my user name was to re-register the old name so a squatter can’t get it. I have many old articles and videos pointing to the old name so I’m sure it’ll still get some traffic. The current tweet on the old account shows the following:

John Chow dot Com

To make sure the old account doesn’t become inactive, I’ve used Tweet Later to timestamp the above tweet to repeat every six months for the next hundred years. Squat on that!

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